Sarfraz appointed Pakistan T20 captain

Lahore, April 5 (IANS) Wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has replaced Shahid Afridi as the captain of the Pakistan Twenty20 team.

Sarfraz, who was appointed vice-captain of Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) and T20 teams last year, took over the captaincy of the shortest form of the game after Afridi stepped down following a poor campaign at the World Twenty20 in India.

“I spoke to Sarfraz this morning and conveyed to him that he was our natural choice for this position. His appointment is open-ended. I wish him good luck in his new role,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ahmad played in all four of Pakistan’s group matches at the World Twenty20. The men in green lost three of those matches — including to arch-rivals India — to crash out of the tournament.

Ahmed has a good strike rate of 120.24 in 21 Twenty20 internationals, but was under-utilised by the Pakistan team management at the World T20 as he was used as a lower-order batsman.

The 28-year-old had a succesful stint at the inaugural Pakistan Super League, leading the Quetta Gladiators to the final where they lost to the Misbah-ul-Haq-led Islamabad United.

Afridi welcomed Ahmed’s appointment, congratulating the new captain on social media platform Twitter.

“Good decision to see @SarfarazA_54 leading PAK T-20 he is energetic, passionate and a fighter!” Afridi tweeted.

Ahmed has a good record in the longer versions of the game as well. He has played 21 Tests, scoring 1,296 runs at a healthy average of 46.28. He has also featured in 58 One-Day Internationals (ODI), in which he has notched up 1,077 runs at an average of 29.91.

Pakistan are scheduled play only three T20 Internationals this year, one against World T20 runners-up England and two against newly-crowned world champions West Indies.

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